Chromebooks have been a cash cow for laptop makers, especially during the height of the pandemic, as students and employees sought budget laptops to ease their transition to remote work. However, the world of laptops suffers from a global component shortage and therefore vendors must decide which operating system to go for: Chrome or Windows.
Turns out, according to a The Register report (which cites data from IDC), Chromebooks will take a back seat. Despite the skyrocketing demand for Chrome OS devices, laptop makers are allegedly paying more love and attention to the delivery of Windows systems.
Chromebooks are playing the second fiddle on Windows PCs
IDC, an analyst firm that provides insight into trends in the tech industry, has observed that Chromebooks are still a hot item. Although the numbers show that Chromebook sales growth is slowing, IDC reported that a staggering 12.3 million units were shipped globally in the second quarter of 2021.
“According to the numbers, this means vendors shipped 5 million more Chromebooks than in the same period in 2020, when government shutdowns made PCs, especially relatively inexpensive computers, essential items in the market. house, ”The Register said.
Despite these bullish numbers, Chromebooks could experience a production decline this year due to the global component shortage. Chips, display panels, LCD circuitry, sensors, audio codecs and more are in short supply. Therefore, laptop OEMs need to weigh the opportunity cost of prioritizing Windows devices over Chromebooks (and vice versa).
Windows has come to gain the attention of laptop suppliers. Why? They can benefit more from Windows devices than Chrome OS systems.
“For the Chromebook, while still in high demand and even late for many education contracts, vendors have started to prioritize higher margin Windows laptops given ongoing component shortages.” , said IDC.
As an example, The Register cited a statement from HP CEO Enrique Lores, who recently announced that the impact of the global shortage will persist until the end of 2021 (at the very least). “Currently, the supply is not sufficient to meet the high demand, and the resurgence of COVID in Southeast Asia is putting additional pressure on our supply chain,” Lores said in May.
Lores admitted that the addition of Chromebooks impacted their average sales because “Chromebooks are generally priced lower than the rest of the PC portfolio.” Chromebooks made up 20% of HP’s PC portfolio in the second quarter of 2021.
In addition to slowing Chromebook sales growth figures from previous record quarters, IDC concluded that Chrome OS systems also need to compete with laptops with Apple’s M1 and the upcoming launch of Windows 11.
“The PC OS race should be the most competitive it has been in a long time,” said Brian Lynch, analyst at IDC.
With all of these hurdles placed in front of Chrome OS laptops, we’re curious to see if they’ll overcome them like an Olympic champion or fall into a tragic decline.